Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I'm squeaky thanks to German ingenuity

I got the shoes exchanged with no problem at Dillards--they didn't even require the receipt, although I had it. Apparently I am a size 39 in European size, or at least have to go up to it because of the width of my foot.

After I got back to the bus stop near my home, I thought I owed a fine at the library so stopped there, but I didn't owe one after all. (I think I gave the book back in the morning before they opened up, on the day after it was due, so it was okay because of the timing.

On the way home I had to stop, because my feet were hurting up into my leg, and my foot was supining (is that a word?) all over the place. So I stopped right there in the middle of the road, between the two parts of the car lot, and took off my shoes and socks and put the Birkenstocks on.

I can only say they were an instant hit. I wore them with knee-high hose home and then went back out for a soda from the laundry room without anything else on my foot. I became aware at that point that they were squeaking. I suspect this is the cork in the sole expelling air as the foot presses against it, breaking it in.

Anyway, I'm happy. We'll see if my pain goes away in a week or so.

PS I have not been able to find out any information about whether or not the Birkenstock company (which has been around in some form or another for centuries) was involved in Nazism or not. I would be interested in any credible evidence anyone has for or against. I don't want to discriminate against a company just because it is German--there's a lot of good that's come out of Germany as well, but there are certain companies that I have researched that I would not patronise due to their Jewish and American POW slave labour use during World War II, or at least those that have not admitted their guilt and made some recompsense to their victims or their families. On the other hand, companies in America are not necessarily free of that association (there used to be an IBM (now LexMark) factory here in Lexington, for example. IBM and its counting machines have been linked to the Holocaust because said machines made it easier to track Jews and other people for deportation to the camps.) I'm sure my computer, although manufactured by Hewlitt-Packard, contains something of IBM in it. But I do try to avoid overt cases when I know about them. I don't think the fact that terrible things were done decades ago mean you necessarily get a free pass, and I think the present environmental, labour, and human rights records of a company need to be more transparent than many are, in order to make good consumer judgements, but that may just be me.

Anwyay, for now I plan on enjoying them for being the comfy shoes they are.

On second thought...

I am too groggy to work on the notes just yet. I very nearly deleted the second recording completely while transferring them from my recorder to the computer. I think I will be safe and try again in an hour or two.

So glad that CTRL-Z works to undo most things!

Oh, man

I got home about 7:15 last night and took my contacts out, put on my jammies, ate a couple of tortillas, and went to bed, ostensibly for a couple of hours but I didn't set an alarm, because I'm not on a particular schedule today. I felt absolutely drained.

10 hours later, here I am.

I dreamt I heard the doorbell (it happens sometimes), so I got up and checked. Now I'm eating some vegetarian chili for breakfast, I was so hungry. I even found half a bottle of Diet Coke in the fridge. Blessed caffeine.

The only thing on the agenda today is to finish the game notes and take back the shoes I got last week, which need to be a little bigger. That means going back to the mall, but that's okay. I wasn't overwhelmed last week--it's not like post-Thanksgiving in terms of crowds, after all.

Today is a friend's birthday. He's finally caught up with me (we were born the same year). Happy Birthday!

Okay, I should probably go be productive, and try to resist going back to bed till it's light outside. I should also go charge my phone and turn off the aquarium light now that the fish have had a chance to feed.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I'm up early

doing something very unusual for me. I'm waiting for nail polish to dry. I'm dressing up for Halloween and I have sparkly purple and pink polish on my nails. I'm just waiting for them to dry completely before hopping in the shower. My clothes are in the dryer. I hope the fake gemstones on the hennin don't come off due to the heat; I have it on the delicate setting.

It's hard to type with new fingernail polish on. It's mostly dry, but still. I hate nail polish--I feel like they can't breathe. But it makes a nice effect.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

An opportunity

has come up to work some overtime, so I'll be going in an hour earlier starting tomorrow, but still get off at the same time. But I still have Saturdays to myself, yay!

Although I have received holiday pay at jobs before, I have never received overtime (except once, and it was a mistake). Come to think of it, this is the first time I've ever been full-time at a job, although I've often worked over normal full-time hours with two or three jobs going at once. It only took me, oh, let's see, 24 years of working to achieve this.


Wish me luck! I don't know how long it will last, but it's a good thing while it does.

Excellent choices

20 Heroic Librarians Who Save the World

Great comic

from the online comic strip XKCD:

Thanks to LISNews for the link. :)

Odd historical tidbit

Blood of King Louis XVI may be hidden inside gourd: Decorated squash was apparently used to store blood-soaked handkerchief after French monarch was beheaded
Carved pumpkins abound this Halloween season, but a decorated gourd dated to 1793 may be the spookiest of them all. New research determines it may contain the blood of Louis XVI, who was executed by guillotine that same year.
Okay, I've got to go get ready for work. Have a good day.

Smile :)

Dolphins join in on tail-walking fad
Scientists have known for a long time that chimps and crows teach their pals survival tricks. Dolphins do likewise, by showing other dolphins how to use sponges to protect themselves from injury. But how about tricks that don't seem to have survival value? Tricks like walking on your tail backward over the surface of the sea?

A couple of years ago, marine biologists noticed that dolphins in the wild were walking on their tails after spending some time with another dolphin, named Billie. Billie apparently learned tail-walking on her own while spending three weeks in an Australian water park called Marineland, and the scientists assumed that she showed the others how to do it.

Billie passed away last year, but her legacy continues. Last week, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society reported that a growing number of dolphins in Port Adelaide have picked up the fad.
I'm currently re-reading The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. I'm not surprised. :)

This is not reassuring in any way

Now that I've switched from 20 hours at a desk job/28 standing to 40 hours at a desk job, I've had more trouble with my back and I'm starting to gain weight. No wonder.

Why your desk job is slowly killing you: Even if you exercise, the more hours a day you sit, the greater your risk of early death

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

But first....the man who gave us moose and squirrel has died

Alex Anderson, Creator of Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dies at 90
Alex Anderson, the cartoonist who first drew Rocky the flying squirrel and his buddy, the bumbling moose Bullwinkle, television characters who captivated young baby boomers in the early ’60s, died on Friday in Carmel, Calif. He was 90 and lived in Pebble Beach, Calif.

The cause was Alzheimer’s disease, his wife, Patricia, said.

Mr. Anderson, whose credit for creating the characters faded from public view until he won a lawsuit in 1996, was not directly involved in the production of the television series, in which Rocky and Bullwinkle raced to the aid of those in danger and solved mysteries.
I loved Rocky and Bullwinkle as a child. It's a shame he had Alzheimer's. Okay, good night for real this time.

I would blog something meaningful tonight

But my plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, fibromyalgia, IBS, and sinuses are all having a flareup right now, most likely because we had a huge weather front come through earlier and the temperature has plummeted. My tendons have been popping in my knees and ankles, and the joints are throbbing now. I ache all over. I keep running to the bathroom, and I'm becoming decidedly snotty. In other words, I'm falling apart. I think it's time to take some ibuprofen and just head on back to bed (I took a two-hour nap right after getting home, then talked on the phone for an hour and a half, now it's back to bed. About the most useful thing I've done is feed the fish.)

Anyway, sorry for the lack of decent post. Hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow. Good night.

A long and productive life...

'Fiddler on the Roof' writer Stein dies at 98: Playwright was suffering from complications of a fall, wife says
Playwright Joseph Stein, who turned a Yiddish short story into the classic Broadway musical "Fiddler on the Roof" and later wrote the screenplay for its successful movie adaptation, has died at age 98.

His wife, Elisa Stein, said he died at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan on Sunday from complications of a fall. He had been hospitalized for treatment for prostate cancer, his relatives said.

"He was, I think, the most ebullient, optimistic and happy man I've ever known," said a son, Harry Stein, reached by phone on Monday. "He was constantly good humored, even in difficult times."

Stein's wife said he was a "very funny man" who "kept people in the hospital in stitches."

Stein, who won a Tony Award for his work on "Fiddler," also supplied the book, or story, for nearly a dozen other musicals, including "Zorba," "Mr. Wonderful" and "Plain and Fancy." He also wrote for radio and for television during its early golden age, working for such performers as Henry Morgan, Sid Caesar and Phil Silvers.

But it was "Fiddler," based on Sholom Aleichem's "Tevye and His Daughters," that proved to be his biggest hit. Featuring a score by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick and direction and choreography by Jerome Robbins, the show opened on Broadway in September 1964 and ran for more than 3,200 performances.
He had a very long career in the theatre, and lived to be 98, which are both blessings. And his writing delighted millions. 'Fiddler on the Roof' is my second favourite Broadway musical (the first being Les Les Misérables). Prior to his work in the theatre, he was of all things a psychiatric social worker, although he wrote comedy on the side.

I wish him peace, and his family solace.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Oops! I missed it!

Yesterday I did not blog (too tired after the game and the long weekend of doom). But it was the ninth anniversary of this blog. Happy birthday to Rabid Librarianess!

Let me take the opportunity to thank you for reading. I started this diary all that time ago to sort out some post-9/11 feelings and it slowly took off, with very few posts at first, but then evolving into a regular thing. Now I feel bereft if I do not post something each day. It keeps me actively looking at the news and at my own experiences for things that might be interesting to put here, and I think it's helped with my writing. Anyway, it's nice to know that I'm not writing in a total vacuum. Thanks!

And thanks to Blogger for the free forum!

A somewhat annoying weekend

Saturday I went out to look for Birkenstocks. The Birkenstock website listed three stores in the area: one at Brannon Crossing (where no buses go; it's right over the border into Jessamine County), Hamburg (which is madly laid out and I was not going to walk up and down a dangerous road trying to figure out just where they were) and at Fayette Mall. So I went with the mall, to a store called, The Walking Store.

Whereupon I found that The Walking Store, although it 'carries' Birkenstocks, and the Birkenstock name is all over the place, had no actual shoes to try on. But they can order them for you. Odd, I am capable of ordering them, too, without any middleman at all, going to the Birkenstock website, straight to the source. What I don't know is my size, and I have a wide, short foot and therefore need to try on shoes to get it right, and even then, it's a bit iffy. That was my whole point of going to the store and to the mall. In other words, they were utterly useless for my purpose, and the only useful thing they did was direct me to Dillards, which did have a limited selection in stock.

I went to Sears and got behind a couple who were checking out with a toaster and coffee maker. The cashier was a very slow elderly woman who was also very conscientious of all the hoops she was was supposed to go through at checkout. She offered them a Sears charge, and so they entered that information. Then there was a rewards card. Then the service plans. I thought we'd never get through it all. It really did take about ten minutes to check out, and I came in part way. Then she tried it with me, and although I was polite, and quickly declined every offer, and even then, it took about five minutes to get through mine, and the couple behind me were shifting uncomfortably and their patience was being tried. Then I went to go downstairs and the escalator was frozen.

So my trip to the mall was a bit annoying, but at least there weren't gobs of people like around the holidays. After I left the mall, I went to a friend's house and stayed very late. I was going to take the last bus out, but he convinced me that since I was laden down with bulky packages (I picked up a buy-one-get-one-free set of pillows at Sears and that was awkward to carry), I would be a standing/walking target that late at night. I then spent the next 45 minutes trying to get a cab, calling the two cab companies in town, including one where I moved up the queue and then stayed in the 'one' position for what seemed forever. I then called Margaret, at my friend's suggestion. Fortunately she had just gotten out of her LARP (Live-Action Role-Playing) game and could come to get me. There had been a college football game (I think it was homecoming) and that's why everything was crazy. But thanks to Margaret, I got home.

The next day, I was to be over at the gamemaster's house at 10 rather than my normal 8, but still managed to oversleep (to get the bus, and go to the store first, I had to get up at 7. I woke up at 7:30). I went over to Kroger with a short list and got them and some snacks for the game, got up to the checkout, got everything on the conveyor, and then realised that I didn't have my wallet in my purse. At least I caught it before the clerk rang anything up. So I had them put the things aside, walked home, and frantically looked for it without success. I checked my account to make sure it wasn't compromised, called Margaret to see if I had left it in her car, and finally found it almost under my sofa, where it had fallen. I then walked back to the store, checked out, and schlepped with two full canvas bags of groceries (including several of those big Gatorades), and finally made it to my destination a little before noon. The game is supposed to start at 1 but Margaret and Brenda are usually late, so I did what I could to prepare and we had a good game. Margaret brought me home, and only when I got there did I remember that there is a bookcase the gamemaster is giving me, and I was supposed to take it home when next we played, in Brenda's truck.

Oh, well. All in all, it was rather nice when Monday rolled around. I'll get the bookcase next week, hopefully. And although I did get some shoes, I'd tried them on with socks and didn't realise my foot wasn't quite seated correctly and need to go a size up, so I need to take them back on Saturday and exchange them. But that's not a major undertaking. Hopefully.

Fortunately the only annoying thing today was getting lentil soup on my sweater, but that is not terribly unusual, and it mostly came out; at least I don't think it will show after it's washed, as it was a black sweater. I did (carefully) walk down the road at dusk when I got out of work to get to the bus stop on St. Margaret's because I was all in black (I try to dress in light clothes now that I'm catching the bus after dark, but there's a lady at work who's been giving me rides home on Mondays, but she wasn't able to do it today; I'd taken a chance to dress in dark clothes because I probably wasn't going to take the bus, but of course that didn't work out. But that's fine; I just appreciate her generosity when she is able to.) It's hard to see someone in dark clothing at the stop in front of the hospital; it was still (mostly) light when I went down the road, but I won't be able to do that soon. It's getting dark earlier, and the time change is not far away, so it will be safer to just dress in lighter clothes and stand in front of the hospital stop. On the other hand, last week I was in a light-coloured coat and the bus was already in the other lane and although she did see me in time to stop traffic and get over, she could have easily pass me by.

What the weekend really brought home to me is that I really do need to be saving for a car. Hopefully I can get the money together for one soon.

Samhain's around the corner :)

I'm in a Halloween mood even though it's not quite here yet...

I came across a great quote on another video's page:
I swear, Loreena McKennitt could sing the phone book and I'd listen intently...--phanotomphreak85
Exactly. :)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A bit of silliness before bed...

Isn't that a happy thing?

I went to pay my bills tonight and got to my electric bill to discover I had a credit of almost $75 due to a refunded security deposit. So not only do I not have to pay anything this month, next month is pretty much covered, too (the deposit was a $115--my bill for the month was only $36, since the weather has been nice and I haven't been running air conditioning or heat). Yay!

Okay, the cell phone bill's been paid, and the Vonage came out automatically. Just have cable to go as far as my utility-like payments. I'll get my bus pass tomorrow; I caught the bus too late to get one today.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

So today

was a pretty normal day. I went to work, I worked, I came home. Earlier today I decided to take out a special two-month trial subscription to the New York Times on the Kindle, as a way of edifying myself and getting news from places other than my RSS feeds.

And then you know what I did? I had it read to me while I waited for the bus (it was quickly growing too dark to read). :)

Yes, the content is text-to-speech enabled. And it's fun. It's like a slightly robotic not-ever-pausing-yet-still-soothing NPR. It was definitely a different way to experience a newspaper.

And the NY Times is long. My God, I'm only just getting through the arts section, and I listened for a good hour and a half. Now that I'm indoors and around light, I think I'll finish by actually reading. But I must admit, it's easy to navigate from article to article and you can go to various sections as well. After all, tomorrow there will be a whole new edition. I think I'll let it read to me while I work tomorrow (except when I'm transcribing library committee notes; can't really do both at the same time).

Oh, and I returned my first Kindle book with no trouble today. I remember looking at the book, but I although I don't really remember downloading it, I think I meant to get a sample and hit the button to buy it in its entirety instead (it's not really that easy to do, I was just brain dead that day). I was looking for a book on a particular subject, but it wasn't quite what I wanted. Apparently you can write to Amazon within 7 days and they will remove the content from your device and issue a credit to your card. Yay, Amazon!

I also received a 'real' book in the mail from them today, which was really great except that its last 40 pages or so were stuck together. I guess it had gotten wet along the way, although I don't think it was during the shipping. It's a collection of the Narnia books, put together into one volume with hand-coloured original illustrations. I managed to separate the pages with a minimum amount of damage, and didn't know if I wanted to go to all the fuss of returning, but I did contact them and they're shooting another off to me today and I have the other boxed up and return-stickered, ready to be sent back at no charge. It's the only time I've received something defective from them, and they were very attentive. So again, yay, Amazon!

This can be so true...

Here's a great comic from Zack Weiner. (And yes, I saw it on JMG. I really will find something original to post tonight.

But, darn it, it's too funny to ignore.

'Tell people what you think, take a stand in pink'

Great videos from FCKH8:

The Not-Safe-for-Work-or-the-Easily-Offended (liberal use of the 'f' word, in both senses)

The bleeped-safe-for-delicate-ears version (which is kind of ludicrous, because you can still tell what they say, of course)

Again, via Joe.My.God.

Yay, gay Google employees!

I so want the shirt with the robots and the rainbow flag. :)

Via Joe.My.God.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I am 8 lbs. from weighing 300. I don't want to live like that and I don't want to die, either. I really need to make changes in my life, more than just eating healthy. I need to get moving, even though my knees and feet hurt. I need to want to lose weight, completely, rather than hide behind the fat and keep the world at bay.

It has to change. I have to change--the sooner I start, the better.

I'm wearing purple. Are you?

Check out Spirit Day and why other people are wearing purple today.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

But is there an Elder Thing city waiting below?

I know, HP Lovecraft's Miskatonic Mountains were based on the Transantarctic Mountain Range, but there's also the 'ghost' Gamburtsev Mountains, a sub-glacial range in Eastern Antarctica, which I thought were very interesting. Who knows what could be lurking beneath?

Antarctic Ice Sheet Preserves Invisible Mountain Range
Buried deep beneath East Antarctica’s ice sheet, the Gamburtsev Mountains are the world’s most invisible range. New research suggests that overlying ice like that hiding them from view today could have preserved their rugged topography for the past 300 million years.

RIP Barbara Billingsley

She was best known as June Cleaver, but this is my most endearing memory of her career, from the movie Airplane:


I think I can manage that

Tomorrow, October 20th, is Spirit Day. What is Spirit Day, you ask?
What is Spirit Day?

The idea behind Spirit Day, first created by teenager Brittany McMillan earlier this month, is a simple one, not dissimilar to the idea of "Spirit Week" held in many high schools, and can be summed up in three words: Everyone Rally Together.

Spirit Day honors the teenagers who had taken their own lives in recent weeks. But just as importantly, it's also a way to show the hundreds of thousands of LGBT youth who face the same pressures and bullying, that there is a vast community of people who support them.

Purple symbolizes 'spirit' on the rainbow flag, a symbol for LGBT Pride that was created by Gilbert Baker in 1978.

As one of the event's Facebook pages says: "This event is not a seminar nor is it a rally. There is NO meeting place. All you have to do is wear purple."

Wearing purple on October 20 is a simple way to show the world that you stand by these courageous young people and a simple way to stand UP to the bullies. Remember those lives we've tragically lost, and show your solidarity with those who are still fighting. 'Go Purple' today!
--from GLAAD: Wear Purple on October 20 for Spirit Day

3/4 of my wardrobe is purple, so I don't think that will be a problem. Other things you can do to support Spirit Day can be found at that link. You can also find out how to turn your Facebook and Twitter profile pictures purple. I've already done so.

Thanks to Joe.My.God for the link. :)

Death of the fractal king

I missed much of the news the last few days, so I did not realise till today that we have lost a great mathematician, Benoît Mandelbrot, who is best known for his works in fractals and in particular, the Mandelbrot set. He died in hospice on the 14th of October of pancreatic cancer, at the age of 85.

I confess that what I know of fractals and of Mandlebrot is not from my study of mathematics, but from researching for a game of Call of Cthulhu, where fractals figured prominently and Mandelbrot was featured as well. I have to admit, I am just not good enough at math to fully grasp the concept of fractals. But I can appreciate enough to realise he was brilliant, and we have lost a genius.

Mandelbrot was born in Warsaw. His family, who were Jewish, fled to France and he lived under the cloud of Nazism for much of his youth. Fortunately he survived and went on to become a great mathematician.

Getting ready for 2012? This isn't your grandpa's fallout shelter

Take Shelter in a Human Habitrail
Kennedy-era fallout shelters were little more than cement boxes filled with cans of spinach. Modern end-time housing structures, like those from Radius Engineering, are smart and stylish. Take the Trogonia 8, a modular, self-sufficient, radiation-proof colony—complete with fitness center, restaurants, and city hall—that will keep as many as 2,000 people safe and snug for up to five years. With that kind of thing, you can Noah’s ark the whole subdivision.

And of course, there's Surviving the Apocalypse Hollywood Style to use as a handy guide. :) They even mention the series 'Ark II' (always helps to have a super-techie RV).

Well I did fall asleep by 10:30 last night, but

I got up early and I've already washed four loads of laundry (they're in the dryers now), gone through the recent mail and tossed the junk into the recyclable container, fed the fish, and generally puttered about. One of the loads of laundry is what I hope to salvage from the Great Leak of Doom. It includes a coat that would be hard to replace (it's a purple duster) and my master's hood from when I got my degree, plus the only University of Kentucky clothing item I own (an alumni sweatshirt) and a couple of nice tops I didn't want to give up on. I used some vinegar to hopefully help freshen them up, although I'm somewhat doubtful. There are a few mildew stains left on the hood, but the others looked okay under not-so-close inspection.

I'm going to take out the trash when I go get my clothes. Funny, I downgraded to a fairly small (maybe 7 gallon?) trash can for the kitchen in the attempt to take it out every couple of days, and that's worked, although it's taken me since Thursday to fill one up, even with the cleaning. The recycle container, however, is a full-sized laundry hamper that had been in the closet that leaked and although I think I got all the mildew off it, didn't want to put my clothes back in it. So that worked out. I guess that's good, from an environmental issue, that I throw very little actual trash into the landfills.

Now I do have several electronic gizmos that are dead and need to go to the great Recycle Centre in the Sky, but I have no way to get to the place you can drop them off. I need to see if Margaret or Brenda could give me a ride over there, depending on the times available. In the meantime, they're one of the few things in the closet that tends to leak, because they are dead and lifeless, and won't be harmed by any more water.

I'm so glad I never put books in that closet.

Anyway, I'm going to check the news. Didn't get very far on Google Reader last night. Have a great day.

Monday, October 18, 2010

I found out yesterday

that a book that I thought was coming out this October actually came out last October, and just now saw that it is available at the library for check out. It's Grave Secret, by Charlaine Harris, part of the Harper Connelly mysteries. Must stop by tomorrow on my way to work and hopefully it will still be there.

And you thought I just read books on my Kindle, now, didn't you? :)


I came home and immediately started working on the aquarium. The water was flowing at a trickle because some algae had plugged the intake tube. Since I was doing that, I went ahead and vacuumed the tank as best I could (I suck at using those non-suck vacuums; I can never get more than a trickle without putting my mouth on the tube, and this time that's all I could get even so.) I used a Mason jar to empty out the rest of about 25% of the water or a little more, getting rid of duckweed along the way, took out the too-abundant Java moss (there are still a few strands, so it'll come back), added some coloured glass marbles, and added some treated water to bring it back up to full. The fish are ecstatic. They are sure some of the stuff that got stirred up must be food, whereas generally it's a mulm, a polite term for the stuff that breaks down in an aquarium, including fish shit. Needless to say I went and brushed my teeth and my mouth in general after finishing. The water is running at a much better pace. I just hope the fish do okay. I'm going to try to start weekly water changes (yes, I know, I should have been doing them all along, but I tended to lose fish at that crucial juncture, given a day or two afterwards, even treating the water (and even my tap is low on chlorine or ammonia, without treating). So we'll see.

Sorry I haven't written. Saturday I went to Danville to visit my family, where there was much drama I won't go into, but fortunately it didn't involve me. My grandmother is doing better, although she lost something like 30 lbs in the hospital and looks frail, like a little bird. My grandmother used to be taller than me, but now she's quite a bit shorter. Of course, she is 86. I'm not sure how old my stepfather's mother is, but she's tiny, too. I visited with them and then they brought me back to Lexington.

Yesterday I went over for the game, but we decided not to play because Brenda was at a doll meet and we were at a point where Margaret and I didn't have much to do by ourselves. So Margaret went on home to get some rest (she'd had very little sleep) and I stayed for dinner and then came home on the last bus that would get me home. Then I played Civilization IV for awhile (and actually won the space race, although I was playing on the easiest level, but it was quite fun. And I got to beat up the Huns. The last game before that I won the game without ever firing a shot, losing only two warriors early on to lions or bears). :) The idea was to stay up so I wouldn't fall asleep so early and get on a better schedule. That's one of the reasons I went right to work when I got home rather than going straight for the computer, too.

Now I'm cooking some macaroni and cheese and plotting the next thing to do. I might go ahead and clean the shower; I missed that the other day when I was preparing for the walk-through. I don't have game notes to do this week, so I'm looking forward to doing some other things. I am going to the grocery on Wednesday with some friends, but otherwise I'm relatively unscheduled so far. I like that.

Okay, I know my Google Reader feeds are over 1000 unread items. I'll plough through some of that while I eat. :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sometimes a simple message is best


Via Joe.My.God.

Well, I got the house looking much better

(although there's still a lot of clutter to go through, and I forgot to clean the shower, so now that the bath and kitchen are so nice and shiny clean, it looks like something out of a horror movie), but as a result I crashed sometime around 9:30 last night and woke up at 8 am. Well, I did get up from 12:30-2 and played Civilization IV.

I've spent the last 45 minutes searching for my glucometer, which somehow managed to escape my purse. I had started to switch purses and changed my mind on which one, and it was in the other one. So at least that's that. I do have a backup one, but it doesn't have the lancet that I can use on my hand rather than my fingers, and that's important in my book. (And if you're thinking, go get a backup lancet, let me just say that those lancets are about $5 cheaper than getting a whole new set of the Mini One Touch Ultra meter I use. So if I couldn't have found it, it would have been in my best interest to go get a new one. These are only $20, but $20 is $20, so I'm glad I found mine. I love my little meter. LifeScan is also really good about if there's ever a problem with the product, they'll replace it, and their customer service is wonderful (I had trouble one time and they were able to walk me through the problem over the phone. Fortunately it was just a matter of a battery having shifted or something like that.)

Since I did find it, I'll take the vitamins with me today. (I was afraid my sugar levels might go too low in the afternoon if I don't monitor.) The vitamins seem to be really helping with my blood sugar. Yesterday I didn't have the metre with me, so I don't know how it went, but I felt much better than normal. Now I did forget to enter my food yesterday, and I got some cranberry flax oat bread from Great Harvest yesterday and had several thin slices, but still, kind of pigged out on that. I discovered that cinnamon in strawberry yoghurt is quite good (the cinnamon capsules are over an inch long, so I open them up over food).

Well, I'm ready for work, but I think I'll check the news. Hope you have a good day.

I can't help it--the BBC has cute animal videos

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What a beautiful place

I hadn't watched this in my subscriptions until YKWIA pointed it out to me. It would be a lovely place to visit in spring.

Do not pour liquid into the angry 'vagina'

Or so the comments on YouTube indicated. :)

Thanks YKWIA for the link!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I had such a crush on this man back in the day...

(If you melded Corey Hart with David Duchovny, you'd have my perfect physical type in a guy.) :)

A successful first day

Well, I started the regimen of horse pills and this is what happened:

My fasting blood sugar was 232 this morning, which is lower than it had been. Now that was before I took the supplements, but I've been eating well the last three days (although I did have a Pop-Tart this morning, as the only yoghurt was lemon), so I'm assuming that had a lot to do with it, plus I was up about half the night working on the house for the walk-through tomorrow.

Two hours after lunch, though, I checked and it was 197. Now you must understand, it has been running in the high 300s, almost 400 after lunch in the same time frame. So, I thought that was pretty good.

I checked my blood sugar before eating dinner, and it was 124. 124! That's four points over norm. At best I am about 140.

Okay, so it may just have been a good day. I'll continue to monitor my levels to see how it goes. I did open the cinnamon/chromium picolinate capsules into my milk. Tomorrow I'll try it with yoghurt instead. I noticed tasting the fenugreek several times in the morning, but it isn't unpleasant. Anyway, we're going to consider it a tentative success.

Sometimes miracles happen

All 33 Chile miners freed in flawless rescue: Scene of jubilation after last man is hoisted to surface after 2-month ordeal

It's amazing that they are safe, through a lot of hard work and a little divine intervention. My thoughts and prayers are with them, their families, and the rescuers who have worked so diligently to save them.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I just read a book by a man with scary hair

but who seems to know a lot about insulin resistance and diabetes. It's called Take Charge of Your Diabetes, by Sarfraz Zaidi, MD. I wouldn't really call it ground-breaking, like he does, but...he's right, many doctors don't really get insulin resistance syndrome, even though it's been described in the literature for some time. He puts it in easy to digest terms that I think would be useful to the average person, and his plan gels with what I've read about in the medical lit. I understand the role of diet, stress, exercise, medications, etc., in diabetes--at least in theory. I'm terrible at putting it into practice. But the part that I found particularly interesting was his recommendations for various vitamins and herbs that are useful at controlling blood glucose.

Now, my idea of taking a vitamin is Flintstones chewables. I hate horse pills. I don't even take the calcium I should. But I decided to give them a try. I checked to make sure none of them would react with my medications. I went to Kroger and found several 'buy one, get one free deals', which is good, because vitamins are expensive. So I got calcium citrate with vitamin D (not for the sugar issues, but on the recommendation of my gynaecologist), coenzyme Q10, cinnamon capsules with chromium picolinate, fenugreek, alpha lipoic acid, and some sublingual B12, all at the recommended doses. We'll see if they help at all. There was a 'diabetes mix' which had several, although not all of them, but not at the amounts recommended by Dr Zaidi to be clinically effective. I'll be sure to list them when I go to the doctor next. They are meant to be used in association with diet, exercise, medications, and stress reduction. Here's hoping.


To Gary Corby, an Australian author whose blog I follow. Today his first book, The Pericles Commission, was released (at least in many places. For some reason it's not available through Amazon here in the States in either hardback or Kindle format until November 9th, but I have it on pre-order. But it's definitely available here in the US--he's going to be in San Mateo, California tonight for the book launch.) There's a second one that's been sent to the publisher and a third one being written. I'm very excited for him, and he's starting a whirlwind book tour as a result.

The Pericles Commission is an historical murder mystery set in the ancient world, but unlike most of its genre it is not set in Rome but in classical Athens. It's supposed to have quite a bit of humour about it, too (among other things, the main character's annoying little brother is Socrates). It sounds really promising, and Gary Corby seems to have researched his facts well--I've been reading his blog for quite some time now and he has great posts both on the ancient world and into book publishing.

Anyway, I wish him luck on his trip and hope the book does really well.

Well, if they haven't figured it out

I just posted this on Twitter:
A little late for National Coming Out day, but there's a great hashtag: #STR8againstH8. (Can I still tweet it if I'm bi?) :)
After hitting the button to post, it occurred to me that my Twitter posts go directly to my Facebook account. Now, on my Facebook profile it does say that I am interested in both men and women, but that's easy to overlook, whereas a post is not.

My mother, aunts, uncle, and cousins are all on Facebook, and while I haven't actively hidden my sexuality, it hasn't really come up, seeing as I haven't dated since 1994 and never seriously enough after my divorce to bring anyone home to meet the family.

So, while it was a bit late, I guess if they didn't know already, I kind of came out to my family via Twitter/Facebook. Ah, social media. :)

PS Whereas Monday was Coming Out Day, today (October 12th) is the 12th anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard, who was murdered for being gay. Please keep him and the others who have lost their lives due to hate in your thoughts today.

Some soothing music before bed

An Arran boat song played on two mountain dulcimers, a bowed psaltery, accompanied by a guitar.

Today I tried to eat healthier

I had light blueberry yoghurt instead of a package of blueberry Pop-Tarts. For lunch I had minestrone and a salad. I had an apple and a small package of trail mix for my snacks during the day rather than candy bars or chips. I came home and devoured a lot of hummus and pita, but I still wound up with 2353 calories (less than I burn as at a sedentary lifestyle, but much more than I really needed to eat). I had roughly 53% of my intake as carbs, with 17% protein and 30% as fat, so I need to tweak that. My nutrition was really great vitamin-wise except for C, E, and potassium, and I took a children's multivitamin, so the potassium was the only thing I was low in. I know all of this because I kept a food log on FitDay.com, and it calculates all this for you.

My fasting blood sugar this morning was 294. Two hours after lunch it was 244. I forgot to check it before dinner. It's usually in the 140 range by then. I also forgot to take my second Janumet, which I am going to take right now. I guess it's a start, though.

All in all, it could have been better, but it was probably better than it has been. It was slow and probably useless, but I walked 20 minutes to the bus stop this morning and got out and walked around the hospital a couple of times today. I need to start walking around the neighbourhood now that it's cooler. I got a ride home this evening, so I really should have. Instead I came in and gorged myself on spinach and artichoke hummus. But I guess it was better than pizza or some sort of thing. The least healthy thing in terms of salt, fat, and calories I ate today was the trail mix. Breakfast and lunch totaled only about 850 calories, so I was doing really well. I'll have to watch the later eating during the day.

I can't imagine why you would be interested, but my food log/information is public, if you want to see an example of how FitDay works or you're just curious.

One of the blogs I read, Ben Davis's Ben Does Life, chronicles a young man's struggle with weight and his exercise goals and achievements. Ben used to weigh 360 lbs. Since then he's lost 120 lbs., has run a marathon, and has done an Ironman competition. I find his story very inspiring. Anyway, somewhere Ben wrote that it's best to start making changes in a public manner. His point was we often don't hold up bargains with ourselves, but putting a log up and trying to lose weight (or change other things about ourselves, for that matter) in front of others make us more likely to achieve it.

I'm not going to lose weight overnight, by any means. I weigh 288 lbs., after all. I've set a goal to be 150 lbs. by my birthday (April 2nd) of 2012. That's a year and a half, or 78 weeks, making a goal of 1.77 lbs loss a week. I'm not going on a specific diet. The goal is to eat healthy in general, keep my calories down down but well-balanced and my activities up, drawing from various suggestions. I have a long way to go in terms of exercise; it's actually easier for me to eat better, but that's an important component in lowering insulin resistance and losing weight, so I need to do it. Walking is probably the best choice for me at this time. I do also have an exercise bike. If I can work with it, I may get a real bike come spring. We'll see. Anyway, that's what my main focus was on today. The food log really helps a person be more mindful about what he or she is eating; it's just difficult for me to remember to write down every thing. But the online aspect helps a little.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

My grandmother's in the hospital again

I'm going to go to Danville next Saturday to see her and my mom. I hope she's out by then.

I've now watched more TV in the last three hours than I have in the past four months

I've got Shrek on. Before that was 'Fairly Odd Parents', and before that 'Invader Zim'.

I like the others, but I truly adore 'Invader Zim', especially his robot dog and minion GIR. The episode I was watching had Zim and Gir try to ride the bus, which was quite funny. The episodes are out on DVD, but I'm not sure I love them enough to get them. Still, it was fun to see it on TV; I didn't think they were showing them again. :)


I have already gone over to the bank this morning and gotten some quarters for laundry (I don't have to do it until Monday night, but it occurred to me that Columbus Day is Monday, so the banks will be closed. It usually sneaks up on me, as I don't get off work, but that's okay, because I feel somewhat mixed about celebrating it anyway, given all the bad as well as good consequences of that discovery).

I stopped by the gas station and got my pay stub and signed the time sheet. My (former--must get to thinking that) boss was there by herself. In the past I would have felt guilty, but I didn't. I guess freedom was more important to me, and I've let go of the need to be the good girl, throwing energy into my work for emotional reasons.

I went to Kroger and got a few things, then caught the bus back to my stop and schlepped my bags home. Brunch was some bean salad with artichoke hearts and marinated mozzarella off the antipasto bar, along with a banana.

Now I'm ready to do some things for the game. I'll probably be back for breaks occasionally today.

A life cut short

John Lennon would have been 70 today, had he not been shot to death by a very troubled man (no one seems to be able to agree as to whether his murderer was insane or not, but he remains safely imprisoned, having recently been denied parole for the sixth time).

I'm not a big fan of Lennon, or the Beatles, for that matter. I like, not love, their music. But you can't argue that his music didn't have an effect on an era, though. Of Lennon's songs, this is my favourite (and probably it's most other people's, too), not just because of the message, but the haunting music as well.

Google is celebrating with a video logo (the first it has done). Kudos for their creativity. Here is a screencast of the logo, the animation, and the music someone captured, also incorporating 'Imagine':

Friday, October 08, 2010

What an (absolutely) wonderful day

Today I was off from work for the first time in awhile, and I:
  1. Walked over to the Kroger bus stop to catch the 11 am connector bus (it never goes downtown) that would take me to Andover Shoppes, making it with about five minutes to spare.
  2. Ate at Tandoor. I like the flavour of the Masala restaurant's food better, and the service, but the atmosphere and variety on the buffet (they have two buffet stations) is probably superior, and the food and service was good. The guy who rang me up lives in the same apartment complex I do (I have many neighbours from India and Nepal where I live). I only filled one plate plus a little bowl of fruit and some extra naan (I dearly love naan), and felt pleasantly full. I meant to ask if they still deliver. I have a menu on my bulletin board but it's been awhile. I think if I ever have my friends over for a dinner again, I will order from them, as I really just can't cook and have demonstrated this horribly with the last get-together. Twigs have more taste.
  3. Went through the Dollar Tree and Goodwill stores, and at the latter I found a CD in good condition of the original Broadway cast of Camelot, which I plan on giving YKWIA. The books were a little scary, so I actually made it out of there without any. :) Ran into a co-worker while I was there, who was off work today, too. Also discovered where the blood bank on my side of town is (right in that shopping centre--I thought it was somewhere in Hamburg).
  4. Crossed the road to the Carmike, where movies are $1.50, and watched Despicable Me, which I must say was a fun little movie. I just saw it in 2-D, and the print at the theatre was a little scratchy, but I suppose they don't get the fresh ones at that price. It was fun.
  5. Walked down from Andover to Palumbo to catch the Woodhill bus rather than the connector because I'd checked and something I've been waiting on since September 19th came in the mail at work (I have trouble getting things delivered to the apartment sometimes, so I just have them sent there). It was a long walk for me and my asthma gave me a little trouble, although not to the point of needing an inhaler, but it was a beautiful day and the walk was nice. I then took the bus to the hospital, picked the package up, and took the bus to Mist Lake Plaza shops.
  6. Got a hair cut, not the greatest but okay, and the fly-away tendrils that looked so flat are gone. It's chin-length again. I let the lady talk me into getting some thickener for fine hair because it 1) wasn't sticky and 2) wasn't very expensive.
  7. Went to Gabriel Brothers but forgot to have them ring up socks, which I was glad I realised before wheeling the cart out of the store, but I didn't feel like going back through a fairly robust line. So, no socks, but I got a couple of nice (and tasteful; no vinyl) shirts.
  8. Went to Avenue and found some truly nice tops that were on special. I let the sales lady talk me into applying for an account even though I know they won't give me one (you get a 20% off coupon even if they deny you). I guess it was easy mark day.
  9. Really tried to help an African man who was asking about the bus and was on the wrong side of the street to catch the one downtown. It took two of us, but we got him and a group of Spanish-speakers on the correct side.
  10. Walked home, realising that I should have gone somewhere I could have gotten some quarters to do laundry with today. Oh, well--I'll walk over to the bank tomorrow and get some, and I can pick up my pay statement from the store while I'm at it.

Now I'm home. Before Sunday I have laundry, character sheets, and game notes to do, so I'll be busy, but not frantic, hopefully. It's nice to be productive. Yesterday I was over at YKWIA's house moving books and generally helping with some projects and then we watched some of the BBC series 'Merlin'. I called a cab at 3 am which then came at 4, and finally got to bed about 4:30 am, and I didn't sleep in this morning and can't really tomorrow, so I may take a small nap after I eat dinner.

Have a wonderful weekend.


Via Bill. I do believe the bald guy says something quite rude at one point (well, I'm not sure...it could be 'cow' and not what I thought I heard, but even so, it's fast, and in a Scottish accent, so it's likely to go by quite quickly without offence.) :)

I love Scottish accents, and I have a knack for understanding them (as long as they aren't super fast). But...I remember reading somewhere that there all these call centres in Scotland (kind of like ours are in India) because even though the English couldn't fathom what they were saying, a Scottish brogue made them calmer about whatever problem they called about.

It's almost Halloween!

When I stopped at Walgreens yesterday for some medicine, I looked through their Halloween aisle and chose a few things for my desk (purple lights, spider webbing, and this lovely skull). I think he may become a regular fixture, actually, given that I work in an orthopaedic hospital. It took just a few minutes to set up and I got compliments all day.

Halloween is, of course, a religious holiday for me (Samhain, pronounces Sow-like-the-pig-an), but I also love the traditions that have grown up around it. Halloween is on Sunday this year (so we'll be gaming, appropriately, given our horror premise), so on Friday at work we'll dress up and the kids will trick-or-treat from office to office. That's also the day of our employee talent show. So it should be a fun day.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

I am making a major fat woman fashion faux pas

We'll see if it works or not. The other day I found a dark purple shirt at the dollar store (yeah, I know, the place of haute couture) that looked really cute. Only one problem. It has a belt, a very wide black belt, with thin belt loops to hold it in place. It was very hard to picture what it would look like on my body and the dollar store doesn't have changing rooms (but does have clothes under $10, and I haven't graduated to getting expensive clothes and probably won't any time soon).

It doesn't look...bad. To be honest I thought of incorporating it into an 80s costume for Halloween, as it kind of has that look. But I decided to wear it out in public for real. However, it's a mantra in fat girl figures that you never wear horizontal stripes or anything to cut your middle in half, making you look bigger. Plus, I'm short-waisted, but so is it. On the other hand, it's not baggy and follows my figure, but not so closely that it shows every bulge.

I'm going over to YKWIA's house tonight, and he might think it's hideous. I really should take him shopping with me. What's the point of having a gay friend to give you fashion advice if you don't shop with him? But if I get any compliments (many of my co-workers compliment things I know aren't the best fashion statements, but they seem to like the outfits), I'll wear it again other than for Halloween. :) It is a great colour for me, at least. It's really just the belt that's the issue, and unfortunately, unless I found some way to seamlessly remove the belt loops, that's a problem. Wish me luck!

UPDATE: Well, looking at the picture, the shirt is not flattering. The arm thing is a little scary, and the belt...well, my friend didn't even realise it was a stretchy belt or talk about it bisecting me--it was the fact that the front is vinyl. I confess I never thought of that. I think this has potential as a Halloween costume, but not wearing all the time unless I'm desperately needing to do laundry. Good colour, that's it.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

I'm reading an unusual book

Here is the Amazon review:
In many ways, Jack is a typical 5-year-old. He likes to read books, watch TV, and play games with his Ma. But Jack is different in a big way--he has lived his entire life in a single room, sharing the tiny space with only his mother and an unnerving nighttime visitor known as Old Nick. For Jack, Room is the only world he knows, but for Ma, it is a prison in which she has tried to craft a normal life for her son. When their insular world suddenly expands beyond the confines of their four walls, the consequences are piercing and extraordinary. Despite its profoundly disturbing premise, Emma Donoghue's Room is rife with moments of hope and beauty, and the dogged determination to live, even in the most desolate circumstances. A stunning and original novel of survival in captivity, readers who enter Room will leave staggered, as though, like Jack, they are seeing the world for the very first time. --Lynette Mong
So far I'm enjoying it very much. The language goes far to capture the outlook of a five-year-old boy. The premise is disturbing, but I'm very interested to see what Donoghue does with it. I'll review it here when I finish. It just came out last month. It's not the type I would normally read, but I stumbled across it a day or two after it was published and it sounded intriguing.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Okay, one more animal-related post

This from Wired.com:

Why Can’t We Be Friends? Top 10 Interspecies BFF Videos
What is it about interspecies friendship that makes it universally cute, hilarious and heartwarming?

I don’t know the answer, but if you tell me there is something better on the internet, I won’t believe you. These videos of friendship between a tortoise and a hippo, a gorilla and a kitten, and an elephant and a dog are all the evidence I need.

There are some interesting similarities among many of the videos. Many involve domesticated animals, not only dogs and cats, but apes, elephants and pigs. Many also result from freak accidents, like a tsunami that washed the baby hippo to shore, where it was raised by the tortoise. Or the baby squirrel that fell out of the tree, was rescued, and raised by a mother cat.

Many of these animals seem confused about their identity. My guess is the hippo thinks he’s a tortoise, the baby squirrel thinks he’s a kitten (it even learns to purr).
The elephant and dog I wrote about the other day are there. I was so glad to see Koko and her kitten All Ball as well, as that was back in the 1980s. But she's had several cats over the years she's been very close to. For more on Koko, check out koko.org.

Awww (and it's not an animal post)

Six-Year-Old Sends Her Allowance to Keep Libraries Open
Dear Library,

I want to share my allowance money so you can stay open. I am 6 years old. Here is $11. (as dictated to mom, aka scribe). Ani.
How sweet!

The Seattle Public Library has an anonymous donor who is willing to give $500,000 if they can raise matching funds. To donate, go to the Seattle Public Library Foundation website. Help them make a million dollars! Thanks to GrayArcadian at LISNews for the story.


This family lost everything, including 3 dogs and a cat, because they didn't pay a nearby city $75 to be included in the list of rural residents who could expect firefighting efforts. Instead, the firefighters came and doused a neighbour who had paid's field to make sure the fire didn't spread, but otherwise watched the family's home burn to the ground. What if a child or other person had been inside? Would they have lifted a finger then?

No pay, no spray: Firefighters let home burn
The fire department's decision to let the home burn was "incredibly irresponsible," said the president of an association representing firefighters.

"Professional, career firefighters shouldn’t be forced to check a list before running out the door to see which homeowners have paid up," Harold Schatisberger, International Association of Fire Fighters president, said in a statement. "They get in their trucks and go."
My best friend, who was also outraged by this story, described the city's practice as a protection racket. Given that the county doesn't have a fire service and the city (who's mayor was completely unapologetic) is the only game in town, I have to agree. The homeowner had begged the firefighters to intervene and offered to pay the fee, or more.
South Fulton's mayor said that the fire department can't let homeowners pay the fee on the spot, because the only people who would pay would be those whose homes are on fire.
Um...really, do you believe that? That's a stupid assertion. I think I'd be selling my land, moving to a area with a sane government, and paying my taxes elsewhere.

Books and friendship make a wonderful combination

As 103-Year-Old Dies, Her Reading Circle Mourns
When Elizabeth Goodyear died late last month, at 103, a handful of friends, all more than two generations younger, sat vigil. They toasted her over dark chocolate, the elixir Ms. Goodyear had savored daily since she was 3 years old, and Champagne, a more recent favorite.

Two years ago, a front-page article in The New York Times featured Ms. Goodyear, a lifelong lover of books, and the small group of people who would stop by her apartment, in Murray Hill, to read to her after she lost her sight. Those readers became a family to Ms. Goodyear, who had outlived her relatives and loved ones.

Sorry for the unexpected hiatus

The last three days have been very busy and I've been coming home and basically crashing.

Saturday was game notes and most importantly, the last day I worked at the gas station. I got to see a lot of my regular customers and say goodbye to them. One lady wished me well and said I'd always been very nice to her. Another hugged me. I kind of wish there had been something (a note, a card, etc., nothing much) from the actual company thanking me for nearly five years of service (ancient in terms of retail, I'm beginning to believe), but there wasn't anything, and I can't say I'm not surprised. If Angelica had been there, she would have taken me out to eat. Teressa would have thanked me. Brandon probably would have sprung for Texas Roadhouse, our favourite meal while we were working. But I guess that's the point. There wasn't anyone left at the store who really cared whether I came in or not beyond whether they'd be covering my shift. And that was part of the reason I left. So I clocked out that night (the last time I had to get that thing to take my fingerprint), folded up my shirts (pictured to the left), took out the paper in my name tag that said 'Team Member Since 2005), and went home.

The next day was the game, where we rescued a baby Deep One who had not yet gone over to the side of Dagon and Cthulhu, and was therefore still an innocent, freeing it from the freak show at the carnival (or more properly, from the adult Deep Ones who had caused much mayhem at the carnival) and getting it to the sea. It was fun, but I really have to get back into playing one of my characters with more authority; she's in charge, and didn't do much else than turn the Deep One bodies to dust afterward.

We didn't do the big grocery run this Sunday; we're going to do that tomorrow instead. I need to make up a list of my own needs and get some things while we're out, so that I don't have to schlep things home in my granny cart later.

Yesterday I spent a good bit of the day playing phone tag and trying to liberate toner from our copier company. I also called Amazon about a personal order which, of all things, has been held up for two weeks over a $7 DVD (Auntie Mame, to be exact.) It did say that it could take 9-13 days to ship because of it, but yesterday was 15. So I used Amazon's 'Call Me' service (they rang while it was still connecting on the screen, and they assured me that my items would be shipped on Monday or Tuesday and the shipping would be expedited at no charge. I had not wanted to cancel the DVD because that would have dropped it down to $20, not enough for free shipping, and after waiting so long, I figured I was entitled to free shipping, so I was satisfied with this. It's not that I'm impatient, it had just been longer than originally promised and I did want the order sometime soon. Of course we'll see, because it did not ship yesterday and hasn't yet today. :)

I also sat down with my backup to let her do some data entry in case I'm sick or take off any extended time. I am taking off Friday (to celebrate my first free weekend), but there probably won't be a need for her to enter them and there's a lot of stuff she needs to do that day. Still, it's good to do it every now and then so if something happens, she'll be ready. I hope I won't get sick (I took my flu shot Friday), but you never know.

Today we have a benefits fair and open enrolment will soon begin. I don't think I'm going to change anything this year, even though I ran out of flexible spending money within six months. That was unusual, since I had a big dental bill and the orthotics for my feet. I do need to call today to get a couple of prescriptions ready and pay out of pocket.

A very nice co-worker gave me a ride Friday and Monday, so I got home sooner than normal. I was just so tired, I went ahead and ate, tried to get through some news, and then headed for bed supposedly for an hour. Last night I just went ahead and slept 12, getting up to go to the bathroom a lot. Anything I'm drinking seems to go right through me these days.

Okay, I need to leave for work. I must remember to bring a job application for the hospital for one of the women I talk to every day on the bus. She works in retail food and they've cut her hours to 20 a week, and there's a food service job open at the hospital which would be guaranteed at 36. She seems very nice and is always punctual, from what I can tell. Right now she's bussing 1 1/2 hours to work to work four hours, and with this she could just walk. So I gave her my card as a reference and am taking her the application.

Okay, have a great day.

Friday, October 01, 2010

I wish there were some cure other than time for being 18

For being young and vulnerable to what people think enough to take your own life. To making stupid decisions that will shadow your own lives but more importantly spurred someone to take his own life. I'm not sure this is a great deal about bias--although it does play a part, and it is certainly about the difficulties of growing up gay in our society and the self-hatred that is promoted by our environment. It is certainly about invasion of privacy and actions that so should have been seen as wrong but in an adolescent's world might just have been seen as fun.

No one's laughing now, though.

NJ student's suicide resonates on campus, beyond

I feel very sad about Tyler Clementi's suicide. The music through which he expressed himself is gone, the potential is such a young man unrealised. His roomate and the roomate's friend showed terrible judgement and callousness for his feelings. I can't hold them directly liable for the suicide, however--that was an action (a horrific action) of free will in someone who was vulnerable. But I certainly think there will be legal and civil ramifications to their actions, and there should be.

But when it comes down to it, a lot of it is the nature of 18-year-olds to make bad decisions with strong repercussions, to care too strongly about what other people think, and to take action when it is better to step back and think things through.

I just wish Tyler Clementi had lived in a world where he would never have even considered jumping off a bridge, where he could have come to terms with his sexuality in peace, and where people would have expressed more outrage at his rights being violated than leaving chat comments asking if his roommate were okay, since he was living with a gay man. He was right to be angry over the violation of his privacy. And frankly, not much probably would have happened even going through channels. But I'm so sorry he took his life over something that, by no means trivial, still would have become a footnote in his life if he'd only had time.

That's one reason I really like Dan Savage's 'It Gets Better' project. I just hope more gay youth can get the message, before it's too late.

Please believe. No matter how awful things can get when you're young, adulthood gives you the freedom to make a life of your own. It gets better.

PS I found one of my elementary school friends had shared a video statement from Ellen DeGeneres on Facebook as well. I'm glad people are talking about and sharing things like this. I just wish it didn't take deaths to spur the conversation.

I seem to be on an animal-related post jag

Let me conclude with one more note. I now share the apartment with eight fish. I bough seven 19 cent goldfish at the pet store yesterday to see how they'd do in the tank. I almost had a small incident when I went to take out the bag; one of the fish got trapped and I almost threw it away! But so far everyone's doing fine, although there seems to be some more algae, so the nitrates are creeping up. I've put some stuff in that helps with nitrates, but we'll see. Here's hoping, anyway. I figure they were so cheap (common goldfish, although several are nicely coloured, even some white and orange) they'll grow to be eating size. :) Let's hope so.

And thanks to my co-worker Angela, who gave me a ride to Incredipet from work so that I was able to make my purchase, walk to the bus stop in front of Walmart, and get home on the same bus I would regularly have taken from the hospital. I was home before it was completely dark, and didn't have to walk home from the store.


Despicable Me hits the dollar theatres in Lexington this week. Now if it will only last through NEXT weekend, when I'm off!

RIP Tony Curtis

Tony Curtis, Hollywood Leading Man, Dies at 85

Thanks to Joe.My.God for the link to the video from Some Like it Hot.


Thanks to YKWIA for telling me about the video. It reminds me of Tammy, who wants to start such a refuge out on her land here in Kentucky (although it's probably a little colder, here. How are elephants in snow?)

Elephants are really quite amazing creatures. I was very saddened to hear of the death of seven elephants recently when two babies became trapped on a train track in India and several adults tried to save them, and the herd was struck by a train, killing three females, three juveniles, and a bull. But they weren't going to leave the two babies alone to die. They tried to save them, just like you or I would a human child. It was so sad.

Seven elephants killed after being struck by speeding freight train